Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni on Saturday 27, March 2021 were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at State House Nakasero.
The media was unusually not invited to grace the occasion, but pictures provided by the Presidential Press Unit (PPU), show Mr Museveni being vaccinated alongside wife Janet Museveni also the Education and Sports minister with unseen people heard clapping in the background.
According to State House and Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, Museveni and his wife were vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Astrazeneca vaccine. The first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba was also vaccinated earlier about two weeks ago as he launched the vaccination exercise for the Special Forces Command (SFC).
Earlier reports for which Mr Museveni has sued the Daily Monitor newspaper indicated that Mr Museveni and his ‘inner circle’ had already been secretly vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm – long before Uganda had even received its first dozes of the coronavirus vaccine.
The report which was originally published by the US-based Wall Street Journal also indicated that leaders from the Philippines and Peru had equally been vaccinated as China tried to market its vaccine across the globe.
Museveni demanded a front-page apology from Daily Monitor for what he called a deliberate malicious publication to taint him before Ugandans as being selfish and individualistic. The apology never came and instead, the newspaper made a clarification about the said report, prompting Museveni to sue for unspecified damages.
About three weeks ago, while addressing the nation, Museveni had also indicated reservations about the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying his medical team was still studying the other vaccines to see which one was best suited for him. He also said, in any case, he is well protected from the virus by the system and that he had decided to offer his jabs to the frontline workers such as health workers, security officers and teachers who are more at risk.
Museveni said he decided to take the AstraZeneca vaccine because he was convinced by the experts about its effectiveness in guarding against severe sickness and death despite its ineffectiveness against the Brazillian and South African variants.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady gets AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
This week, the government announced that they have altered their vaccine schedule and plan from vaccinating initially 482,000 people using the 964,000 doses donated by the COVAX Facility as they wait for more vaccines. Each individual was to be given two jabs eight weeks apart but now all the 964,000 doses will be administered all at once.
The vaccination exercise has not been fully embraced by most Ugandans across the country with only about 40,000 vaccinated so far as of March 27.
Ugandans have waited patiently to see if the president would publicly get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as has been in other countries such as Rwanda, South Africa to instill public confidence and assurance about the safety of the vaccine amidst fears and myths and misconceptions surrounding the vaccines.
Reviews by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have found that the available data does not show a link between the increase in clotting condition such as deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and the AstraZeneca vaccine.
After taking his jab, Museveni reminded the public to keep observing the standard operating procedures of wearing a mask, keeping a two-meter distance between people while in public, washing hands, sanitising and avoiding mass gatherings to keep the coronavirus at bay.